This is the rare category at the 2012 CMA Awards where every nominee has a fair shot at winning. The Vocal Duo of the Year award goes to the two-person group who had the best recording, touring and otherwise year, but in many ways, all is equal amongst these five acts. Who do you think will win the Vocal Duo of the Year award at the 2012 CMAs?

Big and Rich and Love and Theft return to the category after taking extended breaks between albums. Sugarland are on something of a recording hiatus, yet their touring numbers could be enough to earn them the honors. Below we make a case for all five nominees and offer our prediction. Answer the readers poll before clicking on to the next category. The 2012 CMA Awards are slated to air on Nov. 1 at 8PM ET on ABC.

Big and Rich: The duo of John Rich and Big Kenny Alphin returned with new music in 2012, but 'Hillbilly Jedi' wasn't released in time to be eligible as an album for the 2012 CMA Awards. Voters may still consider its strengths in deciding whether to give them their vote however. 'That's Why I Pray' was one of the buzz songs of the spring and summer, however. It peaked inside the Top 20.

Love and Theft: Like Big and Rich, Love and Theft made a return to the country charts with a hit song. 'Angel Eyes' went Gold and reached No. 1. The album was also released after the eligibility cutoff for the 2012 CMA Awards, but if voters listened to it, they'd be likely to swing a vote their way. It was a good year for Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson. If there was a Comeback Artist of the Year award, they might win it.

Sugarland: This duo has been absent from radio for nearly two years, and with a pregnant Jennifer Nettles, it doesn't seem like new music is on the horizon. They were the most successful touring act of the five nominees, however. They'll rely on this and name recognition to win the award.

The Civil Wars: The Grammy Award-winning duo are a buzz act, but they haven't had true success in country music, as defined by a radio hit. Typically "outsider" acts don't win at major country award shows. They'll usually do better at the Grammys or AMAs. The mainstream fan isn't as familiar with the Civil Wars as they are the four others.

Thompson Square: The CMA Awards come between albums for Thompson Square. 'Glass' was the only single they released during the eligibility period and while it was a beautiful ballad that set up their current song nicely, it wasn't a hit on the radio. Prime touring slots with Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker and Luke Bryan exposed them to many new fans this summer however, and as winners of the same award at the ACM Awards in April, they find themselves in a good position to sweep the year.

Our Prediction: Thompson Square surprised everyone by winning the ACM New Artist award in April. Love and Theft will do the same on Nov. 1. The duo is going in the right direction and everyone who's met them and seen a show leaves impressed.

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